EDIT: In the finishing stretch of the installer, the devs change the color of the progress bar and go into minute details of how much longer it’s going to take. Brilliant. The anticipation!!!
At 8:01AM PDT servers around the world opened for the launch of Diablo III. But Blizzard really knows how to tease and the servers only unlock the installer, in time for the actual launch of the game which is sometime on the 15th of May PDT.
You know what’s better than trending on Twitter? Crashing a server. After the game unlocked, everyone got this error:
“ERROR: Unable to initialize streaming. Please check
your Internet connection. If this problem persists,
please contact Blizzard Techinical Support.
Looks like the seed hasn’t been uploaded yet. Or something. Or really there are just too many people.
This is the most in(tense) product launch ever. A launch I’ve been waiting for over a decade. Exciting!
Any Diablo player can relate to these: Remember how we used to trick the system and dupe a Ring of Jordan with our 3 1/2 floppies? Or exploit the overpowered poison damage with the Amazon until Blizzard addressed this with a patch? Or that thing with the Necromancer and Corpse Explosion?
Some highlights form Gamespot’s preview is quoted below, although we suggest reading the entire article for a pretty good overview of what to expect with the gameplay:
With different types of monsters on hand, it’s fortunate that the character classes in Diablo III will be just as epically powerful as you remember. The Barbarian is still a melee specialist (though not without his specialized ranged attacks).
The Witch Doctor will have control over disease, can summon pets, and can even control the minds of his or her enemies. We saw a few examples of these different approaches in the game demo: Locust Swarm is a spell that summons a nasty horde of flying locusts that can overwhelm an opponent.
Using new skills will be easier than ever in Diablo III, thanks to a new combat system and user interface that seems to put a premium on skill usage over potions. As explained during the gameplay seminar, Blizzard developers felt that potion use was too prevalent in the previous game, resulting in combat encounters that were rarely more than wars of attrition, as the user kept pounding health potions en masse.
In Diablo III, potions will still play a part of the action but their importance has been downplayed thanks to a couple of changes. The first are health globes, which drop off defeated enemies and will serve to boost the health of your character and those around you if you’re playing co-operatively. As the developers put it, the idea of enemies dropping health is one that will keep the player moving forward in the game, as opposed to trying to avoid combat.
The random scripted events sound like one of the coolest additions to the game. Each playthrough, players will encounter scenarios that are quite different from their previous trip through the game. In one area, you might see a house filled with undead enemies–along with a story about the home’s former residents.
On the other hand, we can confirm the game’s release date; it’s the same date as for all Blizzard-developed titles: “When it’s ready.”
So can’t wait. So many games, so little time! And we’re 100% sure this will have a strong online component as well.